Killing over 15 million people a year, coronary heart disease and stroke are the leading causes of death worldwide. A recent BBC article discussed a new 4-in-1 pill that cuts those events by a third. The daily pill contains blood-thinning aspirin, a cholesterol-lowering statin, and two drugs to lower blood pressure, and costs just pennies. It’s an ideal strategy for people over the age of 50 in developing countries that have limited resources and access to health care.
The concept of a polypill has been around since 2001, but the first major trial didn’t take place until this year. The study took place in over 100 villages in Iran and monitored 6,800 patients. Half the people took the polypill and advice on improving their lifestyle, while the other half just received advice. The polypill group experienced a third fewer major cardiovascular events.